Archive for Pasadena

Blast From the Past

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Calvin Webber (Christopher Walken) is a brilliant, eccentric, and paranoid Caltech nuclear physicist (see mad scientist), living the stereotypical happy 1960s life during the Cold War. His extreme fear of a nuclear holocaust leads him to build an enormous self-sustaining fallout shelter beneath his suburban San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles home. One night, while he and his pregnant wife, Helen (Sissy Spacek), are entertaining guests, a family friend comes to inform him that John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev are getting into a debate. The family turns on their television, and watch in horror. When the Cuban Missile Crisis begins, they ask their guests to leave, and they head down into the shelter. Meanwhile, a pilot is having problems with his plane; he is ordered to eject, believing his jet will crash into the Pacific Ocean. Just as the Webbers descend into the shelter, the plane veers off and crashes into the Webber home, leaving their friends and family to believe the family has died. The family, having seen the resulting fireball just as they lock themselves in their shelter, believe that the unthinkable has happened and that they are the sole survivors of a nuclear war. The locks on the shelter are set for 35 years and cannot be overridden by anyone inside or outside the shelter – for “their own protection” according to Calvin Webber.

A few days after the locks have been engaged, Mrs. Webber goes into labor and gives birth to a baby boy, whom they name Adam. During the roughly 35 years they are down in the shelter, the world above drastically changes, while the Webbers’ life remains frozen in 1962. Adam is taught in several languages, all school subjects, dance, boxing, and many other things. The family passes time watching black and white movies via a projector. Adam is given his father’s baseball card collection, and shares in IBM, Polaroid, and AT&T.

In the present (which would have been October 1997, though this is not specifically stated in the film) the timer on the locks releases, and Calvin decides to check out the surroundings above the shelter (in full protective gear), which has turned into a ghetto. He mistakes this for a post-apocalyptic world and wants his wife and grown son (Brendan Fraser) to stay in hiding, but suffers from chest pain. Adam, who is naïve but well-educated, is sent for supplies and help, thus beginning his adventures.

Much of the humor in the film is derived from his being unaccustomed to the lifestyle of the present (such as using the term negro, and believing “shit” is a French compliment), believing “gay” means happy, and finding awe in simple things of modernity. Early on, he meets Eve Rustikoff (Alicia Silverstone) at a card store, where she works, and where he went to sell his father’s classic baseball cards. She stops the store owner from ripping Adam off and is immediately fired. Adam asks Eve to take him to the Holiday Inn, in exchange for a baseball card, worth 4,000 dollars. The next morning, at the Holiday Inn, Eve comes to give back the card to Adam, and after a brief conversation, Eve informs Adam that she has to look for a new job. In exchange for $1,000 a week, Adam asks Eve to work for him, she agrees to help him buy the supplies and his search for a “non-mutan” wife from Pasadena. Meanwhile, Adam meets Eve’s homosexual housemate and best friend, Troy (Dave Foley), who offers advice and commentary as Adam and Eve fall in love.

At the conclusion of the movie, Adam’s father and mother move into a home at the surface that their son has had constructed with the wealth he has acquired from selling stocks, which acquired great value from splits over the years. Only his father is informed that the catastrophe they went into seclusion for was in fact a plane crash, for fear his mother would be incredibly angry at her husband for her years of mistaken confinement.

The film finishes with Adam’s mother at peace with her newfound freedom from the shelter, Adam and Eve engaged to be married, while Calvin, certain that the “Commies” have faked the collapse of the Soviet Union, starts pacing out measurements for a new fallout shelter.

REVIEW:

Blast From the Past tells the story of a couple who are forced underground by what they belive is the nuclear holocaust. While down there, the already pregnant wife, gives birth to their son whom the name Adam. 35 yrs later, they decide its time to see what has happened to the world above. After a failed and flawed view by the father, Adam is sent to get supplies. Hilarity ensues and we get a really good film.

The good…you can call me an old soul, but I just love film that tackle the eras from the 30-early 60s. Obviously, with the focus on the early 60s in this film, as well as the swinging soundtrack to go along with it, the picture already has a gold star in my book. Only Brendan Fraser could pull off this role. Other actors would try to read too much into the character and not just have fun with it. If you watch Fraser, you can see he’s truly having fun being the man-child. I think the ony other person that might have been able to pull this off would be Will Ferrell, but he doesn’t have the childlike innocent look that Fraser had in this picture. I also have to commend them for getting Fraser lookalikes to play him at his younger ages. Not only did they look like him, they even had his mannerisms. Dave Foley provides a nice little secondary character that is totally undervalues when people talk about this film. Alicia Silverstone lights up the screen with her beauty. This is one of the roles she was made to play. **side note–loved the shoes** The story didn’t win any points for being the best written, but un;ess you’re just one of those that picks apart everything, its hardly even noticable because this is such a cute, fun, entertaining film, and that’s what really matters.

The bad…as much as I hate to say this, I feel there could have been some kind of villain. Either someone who also was in a time capsule or maybe more of Nathan Fillion as he wanted Eve back. Speaking of Eve…Adam and Eve? Seriously? I’m not sure if that was cute or cliché.  It is obvious that Troy is attracted to Adam as well, maybe they could have put a scene in there where he tries something. Not saying that not having that in there was bad, just a suggestion.

If you can’t handle these overly sweet films, then you better stay away from this picture, or you’ll end up rotting your teeth. Yes, it is that sweet. The innocence of Adam pretty much embodies the film. Except for one scene where Adam and Eve semi make out and some innuendo here and there, mainly in the club, you could literally put this thing in black and white and released it in the 50s. It is good to know that not every picture has to have special effects and sex in it, and those that don’t are considered family flicks. Blast From the Past is refreshing in that it is a romantic comedy that is so simplistic in its approach, that you love it without even realizing it. This is a must see for any and all!

5 out of 5 stars

Advertisements

Rumor Has It…

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , , on April 7, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In 1997, Sarah Huttinger, an obituary and wedding announcement writer for the New York Times, travels to Pasadena for her sister Annie’s wedding accompanied by her fiancé Jeff Daly. At a pre-wedding party, Sarah learns from her grandmother Katharine that her mother Jocelyn ran off to Cabo San Lucas to spend time with her prep school classmate Beau Burroughs the week before her wedding to Sarah’s father Earl. Jeff points out Sarah’s parents were married just short of nine months before her birth, leading her to wonder if Beau might really be her biological father. Sarah also discovers her grandmother may have been the inspiration for Mrs. Robinson, an infamous character in the novel The Graduate.

After the wedding, determined to find out more about Beau and her mother’s past, Sarah decides to fly to San Francisco, where Beau, now a highly successful and very wealthy Silicon Valley Internet wizard, is addressing a seminar. She meets him and he admits to the affair, but assures Sarah he couldn’t be her father because he suffered blunt testicular trauma while playing in a high school soccer game and as a result is sterile. The two go out for drinks, and the following morning Sarah awakens in Beau’s bed in his Half Moon Bay home.

Although guilt-stricken by her behavior, Sarah allows Beau to convince her to be his date at a charity ball, where she meets Beau’s son. Beau explains his wife wanted a biological child and was artificially inseminated to become pregnant. Mollified, Sarah kisses Beau and is caught by Jeff, who has returned to California to find her. Following an ensuing argument, Jeff leaves her.

Dejected, Sarah returns to visit her grandmother, who flies into a rage when she learns Beau has slept with her. The two learn Annie suffered an anxiety attack while flying to her honeymoon and wants to talk to Sarah. Sarah tells her sister about the relationship three generations of Richelieu women have had with Beau. She reassures Annie she truly is in love with her husband Scott and in doing so realizes she’s ready to marry Jeff.

Earl reveals to Sarah he always knew about Jocelyn and Beau’s affair. Despite Beau being an adventure to her, Jocelyn returned to Earl because she loved him and he was someone with whom she could build a life. On the night she returned, Sarah was conceived. This explained the date difference between her birthday and her parents wedding.

Determined to win Jeff back, Sarah returns to New York City and tells her fiance of her feelings. They reconcile on the condition if they ever have a daughter, she won’t be allowed anywhere near Beau. The film ends with Sarah and Jeff’s wedding.

REVIEW:

This was really a cute movie. One of those typical romantic comedies, but it leaned more on the comedy than it did on the romance.

Meg Ryan may have been the romantic comedy queen at one time, but Jennifer Anniston seems to be just as good at these type of films. There’s just something about her that makes her the perfect fit for film in the genre.

Kevin Costner and Shirley MacLaine are two seasoned actors who add a nice bit of credibility to this film, though the thought of them sleeping together is a bit disturbing.

Mark Ruffalo comes off as a bit annoying throught this film, as he does in most of the films he’s in.

Mena Suvari is underused in this film. I know that Jennifer Aniston is the star, but they could have given her a few good scense here and there. At least she had that one good crying scene.

For me, romantic comedies are hit and miss. Sometimes I like them, and other times they’re just too sappy and borderline chick flicks. This one falls into the category of those that I like.

The relationship between Aniston and MacLaine is truly remarkable, especially since the mother has apparently passed away. It becomes even stronger when Costner comes into the picture. Of course, the fact that he’s slept with 3 generation of this family’s women doesn’t say much for him.

The film moves along at a nice pace. There is, of course, the sappy romantic happy ending at the end, but that is to be expected from this sort of film. There is even a shot of Jennifer Aniston’s sideboob for the guys. So, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

4 out of 5 stars